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Joy Ride - an Auto Theft

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Joy Ride - an Auto Theft

Published 1976

This cautionary tale was aimed towards young, thrill-seeking teens. The exciting car chase at the end of the film may have glamorized joy-riding to students more than actually demonize it. If nothing else, the film reveals the primary perpetrator of auto thefts - bored, horny boys.

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Production Company William Crain
Audio/Visual sound, color
Contact Information This film comes from the A/V Geeks archive. For more information regarding this film and the archive, visit <a href=""></a>


Reviewer: Eight Bit Bandit - - November 26, 2008
Subject: Music
The music was collectively credited to one guy in the credits. I think he wrote all of it.
Reviewer: hockeymandiscs - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 21, 2008
Subject: What's that Song??
What's the name/artist of the song that's playing at the very end of the piece, as well as earlier when they're on their way up in the hills?

Another poster asked below and I can't find anything in the lyric search engines's driving me nuts!
Reviewer: Crod Rootnum - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 15, 2008
Subject: Stealin' cars
After warching this, I'mma gonna call my girl, tell her to quick iron her hair, steal an old Dodge, and go a Joy Ridin"!
Reviewer: voyagerG - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 30, 2006
Subject: Interesting/wrong cast listed!
Public message films are always good to watch. They don't make them anymore. I know TCM airs the ones from the fifties. I get the feeling they did save lives and keep the public on the right track.
btw, I did a search for Robby Benson and found this. The young actor in this is NOT Robby Benson. I'm a big fan of his and would know for sure if he was in this. Thanks.
Reviewer: autoguy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 12, 2006
Subject: Damned kids these days.
Those days too! Want something? Then just STEAL it, right? Bah, who's gonna know? Well, the car being totaled just MIGHT tip somebody off. And as usual, one bad apple spoils the whole barrel. We never find out if his name is Billy, however. Some decent street scenes show the junky econo-boxes of that era. Nice drift done with the squad, but the other driver screws his up. Lose the cops? How? All they have to do is follow the huge cloud of soot belching out of the back of that old stove! Fret not, it's just an old base-line '68 Satellite that burns more oil than gas. They tied off the steering wheel and pushed it into the rocks, no big loss. The real story is sad, but this film is worth the street scenes and the chase!
Reviewer: 70sfun - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 11, 2006
Subject: What's that song?
What's that song that's playing when there driving up to the hills? and who is it sung by?

I feel so free today, i don't know why,
Thanks please send any replys to

Reviewer: Tavern Keeper - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 17, 2006
Subject: Whadda Hot Shot
I went through the 8th and 9th grade with kids that looked and acted just like this. The car is a nice '69 Plymouth GTX with a 440. Shame it got trashed. The only part of the film that makes no sense is when they go into the hills and find an abndoned car and play in it- while they already have a running car! The music is unbelievably bad, fortunately (in some ways) the sound drops out about halfway throught the film.
Reviewer: ERD - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 15, 2006
Subject: Bring across a message
A very good vintage 1976 film for younsters showing the consequences of joy riding in a stolen car. The production had a good script, was well filmed, acted, and directed.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 8, 2006
Subject: Caaaaaaaandy Cane..
'Joy RideÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ is surprsingly entertaining, because for one thing, it just screams 1970ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs, from the opening credits to the final song of the laughably bad 70ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs soundtrack. Also the performances are quite good too. The two boys in this piece are quite good as two jaded, and I mean, jaded teens trying to kill time. ( I swear, one of them is played by Jodie Foster) they go out joyriding in a car to predicable results.. I mean, this IS a teen driving scare film, and not some Coronet production.
Reviewer: funwithfilm - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 26, 2005
Subject: thats one sweet ride
i can not belive that thay killed that sweet plymouth what a shame indeed.
Reviewer: Assam - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 25, 2005
Subject: can't miss
A great film, thanks for preserving it.

What a hot shot....
Reviewer: martini66 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 4, 2005
Subject: Growing up in the 70's
Was originally titled: "Bad News Bears II", only Walter Matthau had turned it down. Just try not laughing when you first see the kids driving the car. Great high-speed chase sequence including fabulous "Batman" U-turn. Great endorsement of Chrysler products. Reminds me of when we used to sneak out our window at 3am and push Dad's '70 Ford LTD down the driveway and cruise all night. Boy, growing up in the 70's really was fun!
Reviewer: dynayellow - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 3, 2004
Subject: Grand Theft Auto: Riverdale
Man, the 70s were an ugly decade to be a guy.

Two 14 year-olds hijack a friend's car and decide to take a couple of cute girls up the hills. So far, a good plan. But then speed on the way back and get into a crash while trying to lose a cop. The kid driving does a KILLER 180 reverse on a mountain road, and the only reason they crash is because one of the idiot girls tries to grab the keys.

Lesson: never distract the driver.

Decent acting, but I have to say, the songs on this short were really embarrassing. One of the lyrics (while they're waiting for the girls) is just repeating "Get Duded Up For You," over and over. Duded?

Anyway, hard to say that this is an anti-joy ride short, just more of an anti-speeding short. Also, if you've stolen a car, why go to the hills to play in an abandoned car?
Reviewer: Scott Bot - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 27, 2004
Subject: The lost reel of "Dazed and Confused"
This is a remarkably well made film about a couple of kids who steal a car, pick up their girlfriends, and go for a joy ride. All of the kids do a good job acting, and the dialog is believable (even though the leads look a lot like Robby Benson and Lance Kerwin, those stalwarts of '70's teen made-for-tv movies). Interesting camera angles and good photography make this a very professional looking picture, although the last shot with the four kids in the junked car along with the scroll telling what happened to the kids makes me feel like I'm watching an ABC Afterschool special. The car crash was very effective, because you didn't get the cliche of the kids in the car holding their arms in front of there faces before the crash.

I really felt that it wasn't the chase that would encourage kids to joyride, but the scenes where the kids are cruising around. This, to me, was the essence of fun in high school: driving around in a car, going nowhere in particular, just driving for the fun of it.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 26, 2004
Subject: Look! A Car with the Keys in It! Heh-heh, heh-heh...Woooohhhh!!!!
A couple of junior-high-school Beavis-and-Butthead wanna-bes discover that a hotshot baseball player on the high school team has left his keys in his big muscle car. They decide to take it out for a little spin, seeing as how the owner is going to be practicing for another couple of hours. Along the way, they pick up a couple of girls, drive out into the hills, and play inside a junked car they find there. On the way back, a cop catches them speeding and goes after them, resulting in one of those high-speed chases I'm sure they've seen hundreds of times on 70s tv cop shows. It ends with the inevitable accident, of course, and we are told that in the real-life incident this was based on, three of the kids were killed and one was paralyzed for life. This is a really fun film, actually. The child actors are very convincing and so is the story. The script is well-written and the soundtrack is punctuated with a number of cool rock & roll car songs. Of course, that makes it counterproductive to its supposed purposeÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂI bet it made joy rides seem even more attractive to its junior-high school audience. Especially when you consider that it ends abruptly with the crash, eschewing any gore.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
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